Our worst experience as hosts in 5 years! how to review?

Hi,

I am aware that the general consensus is

  1. Just move on. Put your energies into your next guest. It happens.
  2. For the sake of your fellow hosts, review him succinctly, honestly and unemotionally.

We have hosted more than 1000 guests over the past 5 years. unfortunately we are still suffering from a 1 star review that we received in 2014, not sure how the averages are calculated but even though we have 100s 5star reviews (and very rarely receive 4*) we are still 4.6 :frowning:

Reservation was for 4 guests. These guests booked our large townhouse (entire place) with a 70% discount on our standard rates also a 5% weekly discount + bnb no refund discount 20-25% (I do realise the total is > 100% but we did get some money, which was effectively about 30% of the rate we set. don’t know how these are calculated by bnb)
So I completely agree with the OP about Promotions, Bargain-Hunters and Star Ratings
Unfortunately there is so much competition there is no way we can even break even without these huge discounts :frowning: believe you me we have tried :slight_smile:
also we work VERY VERY hard, for a very small amount of money, I am sure this will be familiar to those who are trapped in the hosting business.

Since the time they arrived they were pointing out issues, then after staying for 3 nights they reported an issue in the bathroom, to which we responded literally within 5 minutes and arranged a plumber to visit in 2 hours time. The plumber advised that the toilet flange has to be replaced along with the drainage pipe, which might have been damaged. These repairs were going to take 2 days so it was an emergency where we had to cancel the reservation via airbnb and refund the guests. we informed the guests also bnb CSR called them and informed them of the situation, cancelled the remainder of their stay. it all went smoothly unto that point.

They weird things started to happen, there was no indication of them packing to leave, their stuff was all over the house. So they waited and waited for about another 4-5 hours. Bnb CSR sent them a list of alternative accommodation options.

They they said “I am sorry but we are not leaving because we have things in the fridge!!!” (a pint of milk and another bottle) they didn’t have a reservation at this point b/c the reservation was cancelled by bnb and a refund issued. The plumber was scheduled to visit to repair in a couple of hours time. We tried to explain them that it’s not safe to use the house b/c the drainage pipe might have burst and the seal had to replaced in the toilet. But they completely refused to accept these safety concerns and continued to stay.

We had to insist that they leave the house and that we are happy to arrange a free taxi to their chosen destination. But they simply refused to leave and started getting violent saying that we are bad people and we were doing this to serve our own interests! (which really was confusing bc we followed up on their complaints and tried to ensure safety for the guests even though we lost out 2-3 days of rental b/c we had to block the house for repairs and pay for the repairs etc). They kept insisting that they stay the night even though there were 300+ other places available for they entire stay starting from that night and we had refunded the remainder of the stay. At this stage they invited us to call the police, banged own house door in our face, and drew the curtains and barricaded in our house when they no longer had a reservation with us!!!

We messaged BNB CSR and explained that we might have to call the police. This standoff went on for about another hour, then time was around 7pm they finally came out, and agreed to leave (guessing the BNB CSR spoke to them?). So we arranged a free taxi for them and even helped they load their bags to the taxi.

So yes we work like servants and butlers to our bnb guests :(, staying up all night, answering the stupidest questions 24x7 within 5 minutes of receiving. Receive each and every group of guests personally with a welcome drink, sweets, maps etc spend at least 30-45 mins with them showing the place, answering questions etc. Our rates for this large town house are sometimes a lot less than one would pay for a hotel room 200 meters away.

Now they have left a review, which I am 99% sure is very negative. Just stressed out about this b/c a negative review might influence the bnb algorithm when displaying our house to potential guests. We do have VRBO but it’s only about 5% of bookings.

How would you write a review?
How would you handle this type of a rude guests?
Are we in the wrong? we simply followed a protocol where we got a professional assessments and then tried to fix issues.

Sorry for the long post, writing this has been cathartic sorry for the non native English.

2 Likes

If they say anything that violates Airbnb review guidelines then contact Airbnb and try to get the the review removed.

As for your review, remain calm and state facts as you have in this post. Just make it much shorter. Your English is excellent, better than many Americans! You must tell any future hosts that they complained from the day of arrival and then refused to leave after the emergency cancellation. 1 star on everything and a do not recommend. The discounted rate is irrelevant.

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Wait a minute! This happened in 2014???

Otherwise, here’s your review:

Cannot recommend Guests to anyone
. Complaints began the moment they arrived. After three days, a broken toilet issue brought things to a head. Air offered them a list of re-home locations, but they refused to leave ours, and after threats and the guests barricading themselves in our home, we had nearly had to call the police on them. Air did intervene again and they finally left.

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No it happened recently and they still have a chance to review. Their 1 star review was in 2014 which resulted in their star rating of 4.6 after 100s of 5 star reviews.
Like others I do not understand the ratings #s with AirBnB.

Great advice. Given how hostile and irrational these guests were the odds are in your favour that they will write something that will be against the rules.

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The only time I had to have a reservation cancelled—about two years ago—Air didn’t give me the option to review my host. We had to ask for new accommodations because the place smelled horrible and wouldn’t air out. I’m surprised they were allowed to review you if they were relocated.

I would leave them a review that said they were relocated by AirBnb and refused to leave. Then I would reply to their review—if it’s bad—and explain what you said here. Meanwhile, I agree with trying to get Air to remove it. Hopefully they said something that will warrant that.

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The math doesn’t make sense here. Let’s say you had 299 5-star reviews, and one that was 1-star. That would average 4.99 (technically, it’s 4.986666666…), not 4.6. There must be some other ratings of less than 5-stars to bring the overall rating down so far.

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Hello @jamesCharles

I am sorry for your awful experience. I will reply later about the review.

However i just wanted to say that you can’t possibly be still being affected by a one star from 2014 with over a thousand guests.

I first started hosting in 2015 and my first lying toad of a guest gave me 1 star throughout.

I then gained superhost status within the first quarter and have retained it since with an average 4.97 ratings despite having a few 4 star guests

If your ratings are coming out at 4.6 it must be because something else is affecting them rather than the one star guest.

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I totally agree. Not logical at all with the numbers. That is what is frustrating the OP. Another member of this forum in another thread recently questioned the skewed math that AirBnB seems to be implementing.
Yes, there may be something else resulting in the 4.6 overall rating.

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Didn’t the OP mention some 4-star ratings in addition to the 1-star? Maybe there were more 4-stars than the OP realized.

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Then I would just calculate what the correct average ought to be (5x+4y+etc., divided by total number of reviews) then call AirBnB and start a ticket to get it corrected, or at least get an explanation.

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What I would try is to write a review that violates the AirBnB terms, so it will get removed together with their review. :wink: (But that is my point of view, with over 600 reviews and a 4.7 average I do not care about a lesser review)

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They said they had “100s 5 star reviews and very rarely receive a 4 star” so they have had some 4 star reviews and well as the one star review.

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I’m sorry you had to go through this. It sounds like you went way above what one would have to expect. I saw this on a FB group and I saved it should I need it. I haven’t tried the recommendations so I can vouch for them. Hope it helps.

It’s against Airbnb TOS for a guest to leave a review that is not accurate, or is false, misleading, or fradulent. This article has helped many hosts get a review and its false stars removed. You’ll need both patience and documentation on hand. (Note: I’m not affiliated with the blog. I just really like their advise).

http://airbnbbabes.com/…/how-to-get-what-you-want-from…/

Below is the TOS section mentioned in the article. Also include Section 5.8 in any complaint to Airbnb. It restricts posting anything fraudulent, false, misleading.

https://www.airbnb.com/terms#sec10
"10. RATINGS AND REVIEWS
10.2 Ratings and Reviews by Guests and Hosts must be accurate and may not contain any offensive or defamatory language. Ratings and Reviews are subject to Section 5 and must comply with Airbnb’s Content Policy and Extortion Policy…

  1. CONTENT
    5.8 You will not post, upload, publish, submit or transmit any Member Content that: (i) is fraudulent, false, misleading (directly or by omission or failure to update information) or deceptive; (ii) is defamatory, libelous, obscene, pornographic, vulgar or offensive; (iii) promotes discrimination, bigotry, racism, hatred, harassment or harm against any individual or group; (iv) is violent or threatening or promotes violence or actions that are threatening to any other person or animal…"

Bad guests sometimes run afoul of the extortion policy as well. If a host can prove extortion thru any written communications with the guest, this TOS can assist with review/stars removal.

Extortion Policy
https://www.airbnb.com/…/what-is-airbnb-s-extortion-policy
“…Guests threatening to use reviews or ratings in an attempt to force a host to provide refunds, additional compensation, or a reciprocal positive review…”

A review must be for the guest who booked. If you find out afterward that a reservation was a 3rd party booking, and they leave a false review, this TOS that can help.

No 3rd Party Bookings (called “Responsible Guest” in the full TOS)
https://www.airbnb.com/…/who-can-book-trips-on-behalf…
“Personal travel…We require Airbnb reservations booked for personal travel to be booked by the person who’s going to stay at the listing.”

A bad review can sometimes be coupled with a fradulent refund request. If the guest did not disclose the alleged “issue” until after departure, this TOS can support a defense that the refund request is not valid.

Guest Refund Policy
https://www.airbnb.com/terms/guest_refund_policy
"3. Conditions to Claim a Travel Issue
To submit a valid claim for a Travel Issue and receive the benefits with respect to your booking, you are required to meet each of the following conditions:

(a) you must be the Guest that booked the Accommodation;

(b) you must bring the Travel Issue to our attention in writing or via telephone and provide us with information (including photographs or other evidence) about the Accommodation and the circumstances of the Travel Issue within 24 hours after the later of (i) the start of your booking or (ii) you discover the existence of the Travel Issue , and must respond to any requests by us for additional information or cooperation on the Travel Issue;

© you must not have directly or indirectly caused the Travel Issue (through your action, omission or negligence); and

(d) unless Airbnb advises you that the Travel Issue cannot be remediated, you must have used reasonable efforts to try to remedy the circumstances of the Travel Issue with the Host prior to making a claim for a Travel Issue."

Bad guests sometimes leave a place filthy. Airbnb TOS are supportive of hosts on this topic (even if the host refund process is convoluted). Your guest should leave your place in good condition. This TOS can help bolster a defense against a bad review.

https://www.airbnb.com/terms#sec11
“…11.1 As a Guest, you are responsible for leaving the Accommodation (including any personal or other property located at the Accommodation) in the condition it was in when you arrived…”

If a guest discloses the results of an Airbnb investigation (Resolution Center claim), a review can be removed:

https://www.airbnb.com/…/what-is-airbnbs-content-policy
“…The following content is never allowed on Airbnb…Content that provides specific details or outcomes of an Airbnb investigation…”

Harrassment not allowed:
https://www.airbnb.com/terms#sec14
"discriminate against or harass anyone on the basis of race, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, age or sexual orientation, or otherwise engage in any violent, harmful, abusive or disruptive behavior…violate or infringe anyone else’s rights or otherwise cause harm to anyone…

14.3 If you feel that any Member you interact with, whether online or in person, is acting or has acted inappropriately, including but not limited to anyone who (i) engages in offensive, violent or sexually inappropriate behavior, (ii) you suspect of stealing from you, or (iii) engages in any other disturbing conduct, you should immediately report such person to the appropriate authorities and then to Airbnb by contacting us with your police station and report number (if available)…"

The full TOS are available here (see the links within to view Payment TOS, Non-Descrimination TOS, etc) While it’s lengthy, hosts should take the time to familiarize themselves with all of them.

Airbnb Terms of Service (TOS)
https://www.airbnb.com/terms

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Ken usually writes perfect reviews, but I suggest you (the OP) double-check the part about Air getting involved. I recall some reviews have been taken down when they refer to AirBnB’s involvement. I may be wrong, but check the rules to be sure.

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If you have 100 reviews, and the breakdown is as follows:
5 star - 85
4 star - 14
1 star - 1

Then your average rating would be (585)+(414)+(1*1)/100 = 4.82. You can see that even with a 1-star review and substantially more than “very rarely” receiving a 4-star review, it’s still possible to achieve the 4.8 average rating required to maintain Superhost status.

You say you have hosted over 1000 guests, but how many reviews have you received? And how many in each star category?

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I don’t believe that’s how it works. Isn’t it only the offending review that is removed?

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This is true. There’s no point in writing a review if you mention anything about air’s involvement, mediation, investigation, etc . It will be removed.

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Both get removed. I had this happen before. Te guests review was removed, and they removed mine too.

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I had no idea that is how it worked. Thank you for sharing this.

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Don’t count on it though. I have had the opposite experience. The offending review that the guest wrote was removed. The review I wrote about them stayed. There are lots of discussions about this around the internet and from what I can tell, it varies quite a lot, e.g. I wouldn’t count on having them both removed. It probably varies depending on the CS you get, like anything else.

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